lørdag den 11. december 2010

That Queer Queery

Do you want to hear a secret? 
I really, really hate writing letters to sell my fiction. No, you would never have guessed that. But I am working at my ´query letter´, trying to find an agent to represent my book (couldn´t they have called it something that made me feel less queer?)

Please be honest: would this introduction make you curious? Would you want to read on? Suggestions are welcome.
When the prodigal son of Knavesborough, Mark Baldwin, also called Sir Marco Bellini, returns to the sleepy village after forty years in Argentina, fully equipped with fame, fortune and an oddball butler, crimes begin to happen. First Rose, the unpleasant nosey parker, is stabbed to death in front of twenty people, and soon...
And if you have a literary agent up your sleeve who needs a cosy caper, just send him/her my way .... please!

11 kommentarer:

Bernadette in Australia sagde ...

Honestly it sounds fine to me but I hope some of your other author buddies can provide more practical advice given I have never had to deal with literary agents and have no clue what would make them curious.

Margot Kinberg sagde ...

Dorte - Oh, I know just what you mean about query letters. I'm going to be at that point with my own novel in the next few months... I wish I could offer you really sage advice. However, I will say this: you got my attention. I would want to know more. You know, <a href="http://mysterywritingismurder.blogspot.com/2010/12/querying.html'> here</a> is Elizabeth Spann Craig's post about querying from yesterday. There's lots of wisdom there.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams sagde ...

Oh, I'm not the best query person, either, despite my success with them. It's tough to pin down what works.

I really love the content in the query you've penned. I did wonder if you might want to flip the first sentence-- something like: Crimes are on the uptick in the sleepy village of Knavesborough, soon after its prodigal son returns after forty years in Argentina. Mark Baldwin, also called Sir Marco Bellini, fully equipped with fame, fortune and an oddball butler....and here you'd establish him as the sleuth (unless he's the perp! Or the suspect.) I dunno...does it read better that way? Sometimes I can't tell! Your way reads well, too.

Kelly sagde ...

It captures my attention, both how you wrote it and how Elizabeth suggested.

However, I'm just a reader and not an editor. I have no idea what crosses their desk on a daily basis nor how jaded they may be.

pattinase (abbott) sagde ...

You are asking the wrong person. I hate it even more than you do.

Dorte H sagde ...

Bernadette: I am glad you like it.

Margot: I do read Elizabeth´s excellent advice, but I still think the process is terribly daunting!

Elizabeth: thank you; I will consider turning it around.

Kelly: oh, if only one knew what made them tick ;D

Patti: hardly!

Clarissa Draper sagde ...

I've never written a query letter so let me give you lots of advice. ;)

All I can say is this:
(a) I would cut this out "also called Sir Marco Bellini" (it stops the flow and it's something you can write later in a synopsis.)
(b) You want to focus on the crime. That's the most interesting thing in the sentence but you have a lot of information before that point and then the crime part seems like an afterthought.
(c) Also, the word "crime" is vague. I would be more specific.

I would write the sentence something like this: "When the prodigal son of Knavesborough, Mark Baldwin, returns after forty years, fully equipped with fame, fortune and an oddball butler, people start dying."

These are just suggestions. Others may have better ideas. Remember, I'm no expert.


Dorte H sagde ...

Clarissa: I think you are right about leaving ´Sir Marco Bellini´ for later. The reason why I didn´t say ´people start dying´ was that it isn´t quite correct (I don´t want to reveal everything here though), but good idea to change that bit.

Beth F sagde ...

I'm not in acquisitions nor am I an agent ... so I have no advice.

Cathryn Grant sagde ...

I'm no expert either, but I agree with Clarissa's suggestions. The introduction you have is intriguing, and it makes me want to read it. I believe it's more or less the same for agents ... piquing their interest, enticing them to want more.

Dorte H sagde ...

Cathryn: I have tried to turn things around a bit after having read Clarissa´s advice.